The Big Mistake That The Bold and the Beautiful Made With Sally Spectra — That The Young and the Restless Needs to *Not* Repeat
Don’t tell us she’s one thing, then play her as if she’s another.
From the moment that The Bold and the Beautiful introduced Courtney Hope as Sally Spectra in 2017, the actress had us eating out of the palm of her hand. She so wholeheartedly embodied the kind of brash renegade that we could believe was really the grandniece of Darlene Conley’s inimitable original Sally that there was no other option but to fall hook, line and sinker for every word she uttered.
But a funny — and by “funny,” we mean “not funny at all” — thing happened over the course of what should’ve been our long love affair with the spitfire: The show bungled her. We were told over and over again that Sally was a strong, independent woman… yet time and again, that strong, independent woman was all too happy to be bailed out by Richie Riches, whether boyfriend Thomas Forrester (and man, did she ever dodge a bullet losing his interest!), Daddy Warbucks “Dollar Bill” Spencer or his sons, Liam and Wyatt.
“I am woman, hear me roar,” it doesn’t exactly scream when our scrappy heroine is saying, “Yes, honey, absolutely, we can let your father bankroll a new company for me.”
Credit: Howard Wise/JPI
What’s more, on the one hand, we were led to believe that Sally was such a good designer that she wouldn’t have to resort to the pattern of thievery that was her grandaunt’s stock in trade. On the other, um… she totally resorted to the pattern of thievery that was her grandaunt’s stock in trade — and even roped her innocent kid sis Coco into her scheme.
Heck, at the point at which Sally decided to play soon-to-be-dead in order to reel back in Wyatt — more on that in a second — she was thisclose to being fired from Forrester Creations for sketching duds that were less likely to show up on the runway than to be run away from.
And that brings us to arguably the most grievous aspect of the mistake that The Bold and the Beautiful made with Sally: It made her desperate. We heard that she was resourceful, feisty, unstoppable. Instead, she was written as weak, needy… yeah, desperate. How else to describe her cockamamie scheme to fake a terminal illness to hold on to Wyatt? And then hold hostage her romantic rival long enough to get him to knock her up?
Credit: Jesse Grant/JPI
That’s bonkers and fun, sure. But empowered? Inspiring? Erm, no. That’s the kind of stunt Grandaunt Sally might’ve pulled to hold on to boy toy Clarke Garrison — and, as has been well-established, she was one of a kind. Infinitesimally rare is the character who can get away with the [bleep] that she did and still have us 1,000-percent in her corner.
So as The Young and the Restless unpacks the gift that it’s been given in Hope and her alter ego, we beseech the writers of The Bold and the Beautiful’s sister show to learn from their predecessors’ mistakes. If you want to make Sally a conniver whose only asset is her ability to scheme, fine. Play her that way from the get-go.
But, if as The Bold and the Beautiful seemed to, you want us to buy Sally as a capable, edgy modern mover and shaker, write her that way. Don’t tell us, say, that she’s a boardroom threat to Summer Newman, then pen her as if she’s too inept to even compete for Gloria Bardwell’s old spot in the secretarial pool.
Credit: Howard Wise/JPI
Is that too much to ask? Hope and Sally have been given an amazing second chance with their fresh start on The Young and the Restless; we just want the show to make the most of it. Where would you like to see Sally’s story take her? While you weigh in in the comments below, also check out this photo gallery of the high- and lowlights of her time among The Bold and the Beautiful.